Fats Domino performs in public for first time since Katrina
Blues icon Fats Domino took the stage at a New Orleans club Saturday night, in his first public performancesince Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005.
When the hurricane ripped through New Orleans, the musician was stuck for three days inhis flooded home in the Ninth Wardbefore being rescued.The storm destroyed the house as well ashis gold and platinum albums and his pianos.
Domino, now 79, returned triumphantly to the hometown stage on Saturday, singing and playing the piano with vigour as a crowd of hundreds clapped and jumped.
Domino performed rousing renditions ofhis hits, from Blueberry Hill to Ain't That a Shame and Walking' to New Orleans, with his longtime friend and musical collaborator, saxophonist Herbert Hardesty.
Theshow was a benefit put on by the Tipitina Foundation.The non-profit organization is funneling money to provide the city's schools with instruments and to help New Orleans artists recover from the devastation.About aquarterof the funds raised are going to the restoration of Domino's home.
According to Bill Taylor, the foundation's executive director, Domino's house has been rid of mould and the pink 1959 Cadillac that served as a couch in Domino's living room is being restored.
The musician is expected to move back in at the end of the year.
At the time of the hurricane, Domino released a statement: "Hurricane Katrina led a path of destruction through my home. However, she would not destroy my faith in God and my love of music and my fans."
The Grammy-winning singer, born Antoine Domino in 1928, last performed in public on May 30, 2005.
Tipitina is also working with several other musicians such as Elton John, Bonnie Rait, Willy Nelson and B.B. King to record a tribute album of Domino's songs.
With files from the Associated Press